Looking for a bridge over troubled water? Krithvi Shyam, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

I was in an abusive relationship for about one and a half years. Although we broke up about two years ago I’ve not been able to move on. I was once a happy person who never held a grudge against anyone. But now, I’ve turned into a bitter and angry person who yells at people unnecessarily. I don’t even remember the last time I went to bed without crying. My boyfriend made it a point to isolate me from my friends and parents. I can no longer relate to them now. This is something that I cannot share with my parents because they do not know that I was in a relationship and I don’t want to bother my friends with my problems. I even considered committing suicide from time to time. I even think of getting back to my boyfriend although I know it’s not a solution. Please help me. - LOST AND LONELY

At times like this, it must be hard to hear conflicting voices — your heart telling you to go back to your boyfriend, and your brain telling you that it’s not a good idea. For now, listen to your brain and let your heart take the backseat for a while. I understand that you feel scared to talk to your parents about this, but you have been without a support system for two years and have been unable to move on, so it’s time to get them involved. Besides, they may have noticed that their once happy and outgoing daughter has turned into a completely different person. So, tell your parents; be prepared for a negative reaction in the beginning, but hope that, eventually, they will come to support you. Start involving yourself in activities you can do with those around you that do not require much effort, like helping your parents with cooking or forming a book club with your friends. I would also suggest you meet a therapist to work through the conflicting feelings this relationship has left you with. Remember, suicide is never the solution to anything.

I am studying in Std IX. My problem is that I can’t concentrate for a long time on my studies. I get distracted very easily. And I am unable to manage my time. Please help me. - WANDERING MIND

At some point in our lives, we have all read (or been lectured to) about getting distracted from our studies. Unfortunately, there is no universal solution to this problem, aside from, “Good grief, just sit down and do it!” (and we all know how effective that is). So, first, identify when you work best— are you most alert at five in the morning or at nine at night? Next, start making note of what your major distractions are, and systematically try cutting down on them. For instance, if you find yourself being pulled away from algebra homework by cat videos on YouTube, install an application like LeechBlock that would prevent you from visiting distracting sites. If you’re reading an “unputdownable” book or can’t stop texting a friend on your phone, give the items to a parent (or even better, an annoying sibling) with strict instructions to confiscate them till you’ve reached your study goals. Next, treat concentration like it’s a fitness workout: Don’t start by trying to get through an entire hour; instead start small (30-45 minutes of concentrated study) and slowly keep adding increments of ten minutes as you get more comfortable. Finally, set yourself a generous reward that can only be given by others (e.g.: using your phone for 15 minutes), so that you would be motivated to work towards your goals.

Relationships, office politics, peer pressure, teacher trouble... mail your questions to nxg.nextgen@gmail.com Mark "Good Grief" in the subject line.

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